Please be honest....

Bowfever

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First off this is my first post to this forum.  I feel like it is xmas, since I stumbled onto this website of great information.  I have always wanted a trail cam but did not want to fork out the money they wanted for one.  I am a newbie in the biggest sense when it comes to soldering "tiny" things.  Honestly how difficult are the modifications to the camera and PIR board???  

Bowfever
Southern NE
 

h2obobh2o

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The mods are not difficult, if you have soldering experience, if you don't have soldering experience, you could end up with shorted pins, or worse, you could lift the traces up on the board if you apply to much heat. I would practice soldering on "junk" circuit boards, or find a friend that can solder it for you. It doesn't take long to modify the camera, and the PIR isn't hard to modify either. I went to school for electronics, and solder frequently, so my answer would probably be different than someone with "no experience".  Don't let the experience thing hold you back though, there are plenty of guys on here that never soldered before, and have succesfully built camera's. Take your time, and practice, practice, practice. GOOD LUCK!
 

bigmandude

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well, following the instructions isnt hard at all.  the guys here have made things easy, provided you dont go out on a limb with different equipment. stick to the cameras and sensors shown on these pages and use the KISS method...(keep it simple stupid)

soldering is not that hard but may require some practice.  one very good tip for soldering wires to circuit boards is to tin your wire first. or apply a tiny bead to the circuit board location first,,, that way you are only holding a wire w/one hand and an iron with the other (dont need a 3rd hand to hold the solder) also keep bare wire length to a minimum so things cant short out later. 1/8" is usually enough for most connections directly to a circuit board.


finally test your iron to see if it is hot... but never touch it...unless ya wanna lose some skin...
i always wave the tip below my nose a couple inches (a trick i learned from an old master)  and always clean the tip before every solder to a circuit board to avoid dripping solder onto other connections.  (i use a damp sponge for this.)


bottom line: go for it, have fun with it, you'll be glad you did
 

Possum

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Glad to have you here.  I know about the Christmas thing.  Everytime I make a upgrade to my camera it feels like Christmas.  Now my wife says it is getting that expensive.  Oh well.  

Don't be intimidated by inexperience.  I had soldered things together, but never in close confines like this.  The secret is to practice a little on junk stuff (solder two wires together) before you start and get some copper braid from Radio Shack.  I have soldered all four pins (in the camera) together before and then used the braid to "wick" the solder off of them.  I did not have to buy extra cameras for my two cams.  If I can do it the first time so can you.  Read all about it and print those pages out.  There is a wealth of info out on Jesses page.  Check out Richard's, Archilochus, and Tinhorn's onfo on modifying just about everything.  Let us know how it works when you get it done!  By the way, I have no professional electronics experience.
 

wapiti

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I'd never soldered anything.  I had no problems building the cams.  Use flux to get the solder to stick and avoid caffeine prior to soldering.  A steady hand and good lightiong is very important.  Good luck
 

troll

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Bowfever,

I had never soldered in my life.  But just as insurance, I bought my camera at Service Merchandise and purchased their replacement agreement.  I'm glad I did because I did screw up and tried some new stuff that fried my camera.  Just took it back and got a new one!  

It's easy if you stick to Jesse's instructions.  Blackwater's instructions (you should be able to find that in the links area) were also helpful.  Don't try anything fancy the first time unless you're willing to risk losing a camera.  Good Luck!
 

glen71

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I found that the anxiety over mavbe screwing something up was much worse than the difficulty of actually doing it. Don't know the name for it, but I used an adjustable magnifying glass that has a circular fluorescent lamp around it. It was invaluable while soldering on those tiny PC boards. Good luck!
 

mudroller

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I just finished my first camera last night, it was no big deal. My best advice is don't drink coffee and do it with no one around so you don't have interuptions. Magnifying lense would be nice, but that is because I' m blind as a bat up close. It took longer to get all the stuff than to do all the wiring. These guys have it all figured out for us. A big, fat, tall icy cold beer to Jesse, Richard webb, possum, spectr17, tinhorn and all the others.
 

bigmandude

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BUT REMEMBER....

MR. FLA...MR. FLASSSS....MR. FLASH CAPACITOR IS NOT OUR FFRRR....FRIEND
 

ONESHOT

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I agree with the rest.  #1 - Practice first.  Resist the temptation to modify the camera first.  Solder the camera last after you practiced assembling the rest of the components.  Stick to the components on Jesse's page.  It's like baking a cake: read and follow the directions exactly, take your time and you'll thank yourself when you're done.

GOOD LUCK!
 

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